A NELSON firm has signed a £30 million manufacturing contract which could lead to the creation of up to 30 new jobs.

Kirk Environmental will build a network of eco-friendly anaerobic digestion (AD) plants for Farmgen, the UK’s leading specialist in ‘energy farming’.

The AD plants provide farms with a renewable energy source because the process produces ‘biogas’, which is an alternative to fossil fuels.

Kirk Environmental, which has its headquarters at Valley Forge Business Park, in Reedyford Road, employs 104 people.

Bosses said the deal with Farmgen could lead to the recruitment of between 20 and 30 new members of staff, depending on the intensity of the contract.

Gary Little, chief executive officer, said: “This represents one of the largest contracts in the company’s 100-year history.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with Farmgen and helping to create an ‘energy revolution’ for Britain’s farmers.

“It will give farmers a stronger and more sustainable future.”

Kirk Environmental built the tanks at Farmgen’s first AD site at Carr Farm, Warton, near Preston, which is nearing completion.

The site, which will supply enough electricity to power more than 1,000 homes, is now on course to be generating electricity in the next couple of months.

The Nelson firm will also manufacture all of Farmgen’s new plants, starting with the company’s second one at Dryholme Farm, in Silloth, Cumbria.

Mr Little said: “All the team at Kirk Environmental are delighted with the progress that’s being made at Farmgen’s first site and we look forward to building similar on-farm AD plants across the UK.”